The Detroit Red Wings saw an uptick in scoring last season, with Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, and Lucas Raymond all crossing the 20-goal threshold. Bertuzzi hit 30 while Larkin was the team leader with 31 goals.
Heading into the 2022-23 season, the Red Wings bulked up their scoring lines with threats up and down the lineup. The 20-goal threshold reveals a mark for teams who should see regular season success as well as a deeper postseason. This season marks the first in many where the Red Wings have multiple players who could hit the threshold.
Going, going, GOAL.
3rd point of the night for Lucas Raymond! pic.twitter.com/LsCyv3PkPO
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) October 2, 2022
Last season, Stanley Cup champion Colorado had seven 20-goal scorers while runner up Tampa Bay had six. The Florida Panthers, who led the league in goals last season, numbered six, which included four 30-goal scorers.
While it doesn’t guarantee success, it sure helps. Here’s a run down, by tier, of Red Wings who could cross the 20-goal threshold and beyond.
Strongest Case for 20 Goals
Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin, Lucas Raymond, David Perron, Andrew Copp and Jakub Vrana
Bertuzzi made it to 30 last year and is due a hefty payday if he can do it again. Bertuzzi has already been scoring goals upon his return in the preseason, and was involved in all the scoring plays during Wednesday’s 4-2 loss to the Washington Capitals.
If not for injury, Larkin would have been a point-per-game player. He had 31 goals last season so 20 seems a drop in the bucket. Like Bertuzzi, his contract expires after this season. But a deal for the captain isn’t in doubt–moreso–what could he bump the financials to with another strong statistical season?
Raymond netted 23 in his rookie campaign, and based on how he has looked in the preseason appears to repeat that. He’s another candidate to reach 30 goals, and potentially be a point-per-game player with the addition of talent across the board.
Perron was brought in after a 27-goal season with St. Louis last season. Three of his last four seasons included 20-goal campaigns, and had the 2020-21 season been a full 82 games, he would have made it a perfect four in a row. The oldest of the five listed here, he seems likely to make it five seasons in a row.
— NHL (@NHL) October 6, 2022
Copp notched his first 20-goal campaign last year, splitting it with Winnipeg (13) and the New York Rangers (8). He was signed to not only generate offense but score goals. Along with a very productive playoff that showcased his offensive abilities, Copp rounds out a group of six that should have no issue finding a 20-goal season.
Finally, Vrana seems a slam dunk to hit 20–so long as he stays healthy. He’s been a scoring threat since he arrived in Detroit and like the other mentioned, stands to benefit being surrounded with more talent.
Knocking on the Door of 20 Goals
Michael Rasmussen, Filip Zadina, Pius Suter, Dominik Kubalik
Rasmussen came on strong during the second half of last season, and continued that momentum into the preseason. He’s looked stronger on his skates, leaner, and faster than at the start of last season. Rasmussen is likely to see more ice time as a result, especially on the man advantage. Last season, 6 of his 15 goals game in April alone. Spread that out across the season, and 20 certainly seems reachable.
Zadina is of Red Wings fan lore for vowing to punish the five teams that passed on him at the 2018 NHL Draft. He had just 10 but was bitten by unbelievable bad luck at times last season. If the puck bounces the other way, might those number increase? His ixG according to Evolving-Hockey was actually 14.95, so while nudges him up a bit, it falls short of the 20-goal threshold.
Sure, it seems every season someone is writing about how Zadina is prime to break out. Fresh off a new three-year deal, he’s got the security to build off of.
Suter ended last season with 15 goals, and his ixG according to Evolving-Hockey was 20.62, putting him smack dab on the marker. He’s also playing on a contract year–which serves as some extra motivation to see a bump in pay.
The newest entry to Detroit, Kubalik, enjoyed a 30-goal campaign three seasons ago. Though his numbers dipped since then, Evolving-Hockey listed his ixG as 17.87 against his 15 goals for the season. In that aforementioned 2019-20 campaign, his ixG was 19.52. Maybe not encouraging, but his preseason performance has revealed a tenacious forechecking forward who does the little things that add up.
Might it get him back past the 20 mark?
Keep an Eye on Them
A 20-goal season seems like quite the jump for Seider, who only had seven goals. But at this point, Seider has done nothing but impress as he’s moved up the ranks. 20 goals may be a reach, but double-digits seems the next logical step.
Red Wings Prospects Possibilities
Jonatan Berggren notched 64 points in Grand Rapids, setting the rookie record for the organization. His 21 goals show it’s possible in the American League. If he makes the roster and rolls through the NHL gauntlet of 82 games, it’s not a stretch to think he too, could get close. But unless he becomes the second-coming of the Gustav Nyquist in 2013-14, its likelier that with more limited time he’ll be more playmaker (as he sees himself) than goal scorer.
Elmer Soderblom seems a stronger bet as he found the net 21 times in the SHL last season and has been impressive in the preseason. If he does make the roster, he’ll likely have time on the power play, which only gives him a higher chance to get there. Twenty might be a far reach, but for a prospect that has bucked any previous expectations, he’s certainly one to list.